Jane Barlow – PA Images via Getty Images
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered former MP Jo Cox, has been selected as Labour’s candidate for the Batley and Spen by-election.
Cox represented the seat until she was shot and stabbed by a far-right extremist in June 2016.
A by-election was triggered earlier this month by the decision of Tracey Brabin, who succeeded Cox, to step down as an MP following her election as the first mayor of West Yorkshire.
Her selection was welcomed by Keir Starmer who said her roots in the community would make her a “fantastic champion” for the constituency.
“Batley and Spen holds an important place in the Labour Party’s heart. And Kim’s work to bring people together, just as her sister Jo Cox did, has inspired us all,” he said.
Labour is desperate to hold on to the seat following the party’s crushing defeat in another “red wall” by-election in Hartlepool earlier this month.
The result triggered a bitter round of recriminations, with the Labour left – marginalised under Starmer – gunning for the party leader.
Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott – a close ally of ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn – said it could be “curtains” for Starmer if they lose again.
No date has been been set for the contest. Labour is defending a majority of 3,525 from the 2019 general election.
fbq('init', '1112906175403201'); // Edition specific fbq('track', "PageView");
fbq('init', '10153394098876130'); // Partner Studio fbq('track', "PageView");
document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function ()